Sometimes it is the old classics that are the most satisfying desserts. My brother invited our family over a couple months ago for a simple pizza party. I offered to make dessert. Given that it was going to be casual, I thought I should make something easy to eat and that wouldn’t require forks. Once I remembered my Gram’s Hot Fudge Squares, I knew I had something to bring to dinner, but also to share on the blog for all the big football games coming up!

Gram’s Hot Fudge Squares

My Gram didn’t make these squares too frequently, but only because our family was fairly small and these bars make a big batch. Rita would make these for big family reunions, but more typically for bake sales during concerts for my Gramp’s theater organ society. My Gram and other wives from the group would bring treats to sell during intermission. Often when there were extra squares, my grandparents would come by our house and share.

Super Hot Fudge Squares - Ready for the big game? No Super Bowl Party is complete without chocolate!

For some reason, this was only the second time that I had  made these on my own. Now I am not sure why I haven’t been making them more. These squares are similar to recipes that I have seen for Texas Sheet Cake. Despite how rich they look, both my husband and sister-in-law commented on how light they are. The cake part is very tender, while the icing is smooth with just the slightest bit of crispness to the top layer. If you choose to add nuts, they cut the sweetness and add a bit of texture.

When I made them I opted to put nuts on half and leave the other half plain. (When I was a kid, if my Gram had put nuts on the whole batch, I would carefully pick them off making sure to preserve as much of the icing as possible.) The icing-only bars are smooth and fudgy. These hot fudge squares would be perfect for parties, for bake sales, or for a football-watching party. They are trophy-worthy!

Hot Fudge Squares

These iced fudge squares are full of chocolate, but surprisingly light. They are great for a bake sale, tailgating, picnics, or for gatherings. You'll find them hard to resist.
Course:  Dessert
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  20 minutes
Total Time:  40 minutes
Servings:  40


For the squares:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ½ cup buttermilk or sour milk (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the icing:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 box confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts toasted, optional


For the squares:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour (or coat with baking spray) a large cookie sheet (17.5 x 12.25 inches).
  2. Whisk together sugar, flour, and cocoa.
  3. In a saucepan, bring butter and water to a boil.
  4. Pour butter and water over dry ingredients and mix while hot.
  5. Add buttermilk, egg, baking soda, and vanilla.
  6. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. The batter will be very thin.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cake springs back to the touch.

For the icing:

  1. In a saucepan, bring butter, cocoa, and milk to a boil.
  2. Add confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and nuts (if using). Whisk to combine.
  3. Spread icing over cake while both are still hot.
  4. Cool iced squares on a wire rack until icing is set.

Recipe Notes

If you don't have buttermilk on hand, make sour milk by adding 1/2 Tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1/2 cup of milk. Whisk together and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

If you decide to add pecans or walnuts, put them on a lined baking sheet in the oven while it preheats. As soon as you start to smell the nuts (about 5 minutes), remove them from the oven immediately.

If you add nuts to half of the pan, but sure to either mix the nuts in with the icing before spreading or save enough icing to cover the nuts.

Beyond Hot Fudge Squares

For other Super Bowl party ideas, check out our Pinterest board “Super Bowl Time“. You also won’t want to miss this easy snack mix I call Big Game Bites!